Each day at UTMB Health, people’s lives are touched in positive ways by our employees. Last week, I heard a story I wanted to share with you about an employee who went the extra mile to lift a patient’s spirits.
Nurse Keith Sumrall was working on the Pediatric Unit in John Sealy Hospital. One of the patients for whom he was caring had just been through a tough surgery; he also had an intellectual disability which made him feel especially anxious about the entire experience. One evening, as Keith left the patient’s room, he asked if there was anything else he could do. Kyle* had his heart set on one thing: a Kit Kat bar.
There were no Kit Kat bars on the unit to take to the young patient. The next day, Keith decided to buy something sweet for his patient. However, he didn’t return to the room with just one candy bar—he arrived with 60 Kit Kat bars, which he poured onto the bed cover in front of Kyle. The expression on the young man’s face was priceless. The moment was captured by his father, who videotaped the encounter.
Who would have thought that Kit Kat bars could bring that much joy to a patient who had been through so much that week? Kyle was so appreciative, he decided to name his new teddy bear after Keith.
I received another story on Wednesday from Dr. Joan Richardson, Chair of Pediatrics. It was an article that appeared in the New York Times (click here to read the article) about the experience of a family at CHA Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts. Although the story did not take place at UTMB, it very easily could have.
The article featured the letter from the patient’s husband, who wrote about the professionalism of the staff, their kindness and compassion, and their consideration for the patient’s dignity and the family’s comfort. The staff also made it possible for the husband to have one last tender experience with his wife. These are all the types of things I hear about almost daily from our patients and their loved ones here at UTMB.
These two stories are examples of people who took delivering Best Care to a whole new level. Best Care is more than medicine. It is showing compassion and kindness for people who truly need our care. We should always ask patients and their loved ones if there is anything else we can do for them, and if there is something we can do to help (even if it is not within our scope of responsibility) we should find a way—we can always lend an ear, and we can always treat our patients and their loved ones with the same care and respect with which we would want to be treated.
Best Care is about understanding our patients’ needs and then doing what we reasonably can to meet them. It’s about living our values. The employees in these stories did exactly that as they demonstrated what exceptional patient care is all about.
Thank you to all of you who work together to truly work wonders for our patients and deliver Best Care, every patient, every time!
“THERE IS NO EXERCISE BETTER FOR THE HEART THAN REACHING DOWN AND LIFTING PEOPLE UP.”
― John Holmes
* The patient’s name and video above are shared with permission of the patient’s family.
Don’t forget! The State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) is underway! SECC is a chance to give back to our communities and the important causes that are near and dear to us.
To all who have already committed to SECC, thank you! To those who have not yet given, please give this every consideration. No amount is too small, and giving could not be easier. One-time contributions can be made via cash, check or online, or pledges can be made through payroll deduction (monthly or a single gift).
Please visit the SECC website at https://www.utmb.edu/secc to begin the process of making your donation today. The deadline to contribute to the campaign is November 14, 2016.